Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.790 IF 4.790
  • IF 5-year value: 5.921 IF 5-year
    5.921
  • CiteScore value: 5.27 CiteScore
    5.27
  • SNIP value: 1.551 SNIP 1.551
  • IPP value: 5.08 IPP 5.08
  • SJR value: 3.016 SJR 3.016
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 63 Scimago H
    index 63
  • h5-index value: 51 h5-index 51
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-283
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-283
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 19 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 19 Dec 2019

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Clouds damp the impacts of Polar sea ice loss

Ramdane Alkama1, Alessandro Cescatti1, Patrick C. Taylor2, Lorea Garcia-San Martin1, Herve Douville3, Gregory Duveiller1, Giovanni Forzieri1, and Didier Swingedouw4 Ramdane Alkama et al.
  • 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • 3Centre National de Recherches Meteorologiques, Meteo-France/CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 4EPOC, Universite Bordeaux 1, Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Pessac 33615, France

Abstract. Clouds plays an important role on the climate system through two main contrasting effects: (1) cooling the Earth by reflecting to space part of incoming solar radiation; (2) warming the surface by reducing the Earth’s loss of thermal energy to space. Recently, scientists have paid more attention to the warming role of clouds because of the acceleration of Arctic sea ice melting and because of recent studies that did not find any response of cloud cover fraction to reduced sea ice in summer. On the contrary, with this work based on satellite CERES data and 32 CMIP5 climate models, we reveal that the cooling role of clouds is dominant. Indeed, cloud dynamic occurring in combination with sea-ice melting plays an important cooling effect by altering the surface energy budget in an apparently contradicting way: years with less sea ice are also those that show an increase of the radiative energy reflected back to space by clouds. An increase in absorbed solar radiation when sea ice retreats (surface albedo change) explains 66 ± 2 % of the observed signal. The remaining 34 ± 1 % are due to the increase in cloud cover/thickness when sea ice retreat and associated reflection to space. This interplay between clouds and sea ice reduces by half the increase of net radiation at the surface that follows the sea-ice retreat, therefore damping the impact of polar sea ice loss. We further highlight how this process is mis-represented in some climate models.

Ramdane Alkama et al.

Interactive discussion

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Ramdane Alkama et al.

Ramdane Alkama et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 426 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
345 74 7 426 24 6 7
  • HTML: 345
  • PDF: 74
  • XML: 7
  • Total: 426
  • Supplement: 24
  • BibTeX: 6
  • EndNote: 7
Views and downloads (calculated since 19 Dec 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 19 Dec 2019)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 221 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 217 with geography defined and 4 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Saved

No saved metrics found.

Discussed

No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 02 Apr 2020
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
The amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth is believed to strongly depend on clouds. Here, we investigate this relationship using satellite data and 32 climate models, showing that this relationship holds everywhere except over polar seas, where an increased reflection by clouds corresponds to an increase in absorbed solar radiation at the surface. This interplay between clouds and sea ice reduces by half the increase of net radiation at the surface that follows the sea-ice retreat.
The amount of solar energy absorbed by the Earth is believed to strongly depend on clouds. Here,...
Citation